The Dodge House

This article originally appeared in the Lahontan Valley News on April 6, 1977. It is reprinted here with permission of the LVN. 

The County Public Defender's Office is housed in this building, located at 85 N. Taylor Street in Fallon.

The former home of Senator Carl Dodge, utilized in recent years as the Fallon Branch Office of First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Nevada, has been moved to a new location, the northeast corner of Taylor and "A" Streets. The building was moved by Park and Park, Inc. of Yerington. A gift of the Reno-based lending institution, the well-known structure will be used as a physicians' clinic in order to attract needed doctors to Fallon.

Dodge House in 2020

The old house has an interesting history based on close family ties and fond memories. In 1919, Senator Dodge's father, Carl Sr., brought his wife, the former Buena Reed, to Fallon. The Dodges came from the small community of Algona in northern Iowa. For a time they rented a place to live and acquired the property on which to build. In the mid-1920s, Carl Dodge, Sr. called upon his uncle, a skilled carpenter back in Iowa, to come to Fallon to build him a home. Senator Dodge recalls that when the sub-floor had been laid, spaces where rooms would be were laid out with chalk in the old-fashioned way.

The Senator grew up in the house with his parents and his sister, Marlea, now Mrs. Loring Primeaux of Las Vegas. "We were a happy family," the Senator recalls.

Carl Dodge, Sr. was involved in several businesses. The owner of a cattle ranch in Lassen, California, he also bought and baled hay in the Fallon valley, shipping it out to waiting customers. The elder Dodge also worked as manager of the Grey-Reid-Wright story which formerly existed in Fallon. The Dodges were in highway construction too, commencing in the days when horses were still used in that work. Today, Senator Dodge still operates the ancestral cattle ranch located near Fallon, which has now been in the family for fifty years.

After his father died in 1940, his mother took in service people during the war years. The fireplace and portions of the residence were damaged in the earthquakes of the early 1950's and Mrs. Dodge had extensive repair work done on the house soon thereafter. She lived in the house as a widow until just a few years before her death in the 1960s. The lot next door had been added to the property by the Senator in order to ensure quiet. After a broken hip obliged her to live in a convalescent home, Buena Dodge's home was rented by her children in the hope that she would one day come back to it.

After their mother's passing, however, Senator Dodge and his sister inherited the house, subsequently selling it to First Federal.

The Fallon office of First Federal, the association's sixth branch, opened in the residence in early 1973, providing savings and lending services for the residents of Churchill County. The offices of First Federal have recently been moved to the temporary quarters located adjacent to the building site at the corner of Williams and Russell Streets. Construction on the new office building for First Federal will begin later this spring.

William Huffman, administrator of the Churchill Public Hospital, has made the arrangements for moving the house and hooking it up to city services. The hospital plans extensive landscaping at the new site of the Dodge House.

In turning over the former Dodge home to the Churchill Public Hospital, First Federal is pleased to ensure its continued existence as a familiar landmark, considering its former ownership of the residence as a trust which it now proudly bequeaths to Fallon for the betterment of its citizens and their community.